Free Legal Aid Law | 2022

The free legal aid law is the legal norm that regulates the right of citizens who lack the resources to litigate to go to trial without having to pay court costs.

This regulation on legal assistance is aimed at those citizens who do not have sufficient economic resources to be able to attend a judicial process. These people have a constitutional right recognized as the right to effective judicial protection.

This means that those people who are victims of a crime or have a conflict that cannot be resolved with the other party and have to go to court, can do so without economic impediments, leaving these people unassisted from justice.

The purpose of the rule is that these people can access the administration of justice and can see their interests or rights adequately defended. This right operates in all jurisdictions: civil, criminal, labor, commercial and administrative.

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Once this right has been recognised, the free provision must last throughout the entire legal process, not only the main one, but also the execution if so requested and that corresponding to the judicial resources that the professional considers necessary to file.

Who can apply for free legal aid?

The recipients of this right to free legal aid are:

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  1. Natural persons who lack sufficient economic resources to be able to attend the judicial process with all the costs that it implies. From the assistance of the lawyer to when the representation of a solicitor is necessary. To find out if that person does not have assets or resources to face the lawsuit, thresholds will be set that must not be exceeded. In Spain, the threshold to take into account is the public indicator of multiple effects income (IPREM).
  2. Individuals with exceptional family circumstances. The exceptional family situation without the need to prove a lack of economic resources, can also be a reason to recognize the right to free legal assistance. These situations are: number of dependent children or adults, people with disabilities or health reasons of the applicant.
  3. Individuals who have been victims of a specific crime: victims of gender-based violence, terrorism and human trafficking are always entitled to free legal assistance. Likewise, minors or persons with disabilities who are victims of the crime of injury and habitual abuse have this right.
  4. Legal persons: only foundations or associations of public utility when they do not have sufficient economic resources to litigate.
  5. In the labor jurisdiction, workers may also request this free assistance.

What does the free legal aid law cover?

The content of this legal assistance is made up of the following benefits:

  • Free pre-trial counseling and guidance. Likewise, the professional will inform the applicants of the possibility of resolving the conflict out of court.
  • Free defense at trial by lawyer.
  • Free representation in trial by attorney.
  • Gratuity in the edicts that have to be published in the process.
  • You will be able to get copies, notarized acts or testimony you need from the court for free.
  • The payment of court fees will be free.
  • The payment of deposits to appeal is also within the right.
  • Free expert assistance.
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However, the applicant for this assistance may not need all these benefits. Therefore, the applicant can request all the benefits or only those that he considers appropriate.

Process

The way in which it is requested and awarded is as follows:

Free Legal Assistance Law Diagram Page 0001

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